Team Senseless Hunger

It’s here. That point where it seems like it should be finals week but it isn’t, because this is Centre Term, but everything is finally coming together and group meetings are getting a little more silly.

Our group met for quite a while today! We managed to lay down quite a bit of story in the time we had, too! Everyone got their first peek at what Twine could be and what we’ve made of it so far, and we’re very excited. It surprised me to see that Twine has quite a lot of flexibility that I’ve never seen implemented in the Twine games I’ve played in the past, so that was really awesome to discover. We added several new things to our story that we hadn’t originally planned to add as we were discussing plot, and playing around with Twine as a group was really fun. Branching paths gives us the ability to add humor or side encounters where we hadn’t expected to have them before.

Once the clock hit 6, our progress started faltering. No matter what part of the story we tried to work on, it lead back to food. Stomachs were growling. Patience was failing. Leland, dedicated to our task, proudly paved the way through a particular scene where our current hero was starving. While he was writing the script, we watched as he struggled on the google doc:

“Billy has no money in his pocket, and no food in his snack.”

no food in his snack”

After several tries and fits of laughter, he pulled through. Shortly after, we called it a day and split up for some grub. Today was fun and  productive!

Art in Video Games

Hey everyone! We made a lot of progress today while working on the story for our game. We decided to base the outlaw’s story line loosely around Billy The Kid’s life, though because it is fiction, some things will be changed. It’s very interesting that his life already lends itself to a story with narrow escapes, shootouts and mystery, a point of no return, and finally, a swift conclusion. We have a general idea of what role we’d like our other two characters to take too, but we’re brainstorming more and we’ll cement that tomorrow.

The class discussion today about art and video games has stayed on my mind all day. There are a lot of games, especially indie games, that really push the barrier for me. We discussed Firewatch a bit today, and how many people claim that it isn’t really a video game, but instead a walking simulator. If that’s the case, couldn’t it be seen as a piece of art?

As a game, it’s absolutely beautiful. Like many art pieces, it evokes feelings beyond the sense of awe at something beautiful. The player feels this heavy guilt because it quickly becomes apparent that the main character, Henry, is running from things back home. He decided to take this job because his wife had developed early-onset advanced Alzheimer’s disease. As the story progresses, Henry seems to be flirting and falling in love with his supervisor, Delilah. While some people may enjoy that aspect of the game, all I could think about was how his wife must feel, and how awful it was that Henry ran away.

If a book can be art, why does this not count to some people? Art is created to evoke emotions in the person who experiences it, and why does the press of a few buttons change that? With all the effort that goes into the digital design of the environment in a game like this alongside the development of the story, where is the difference?


Hello from Senseless Violence!

Our group name came about after we traversed a loop several times when trying to brainstorm for our game.

“What do we want our game to be about? Well, we need to know the time period first.

Okay, what time periods do we like? Well, there are a lot. Maybe we should explore themes.

What themes do we want? Well, first we need to know what our game is going to be about. ”

And so on. We struggled for a bit, but learned more about each other through it.

Eventually, we got to the topics of the wild west and survival. We thought about the funny deaths that happen in some games, like where you’d walk into a bar, look at the bartender the wrong way, and suddenly have a “Game Over” screen. From there we discussed how that idea could be applied to plenty of different time periods and settings, and we created a rather large list of ideas and topics that we might like to explore, and we haven’t settled on one yet. However, since this productive branch of thought stemmed from senseless violence, we felt the name was fitting.

We used our time today to mostly get to know each other and find out what everyone was interested in. Everyone in our group comes from a different background and enjoys different types of games, so we have lots of different perspectives to bring to this game. We achieved an idea of the roles each of us will handle, though those may shift as we go. We spent a lot of time discussing potential topics, and near the end of class, we had almost too many to handle. To solidify our idea of what we want to do, each of us will be looking further into particular topics they were interested in and will present that idea to the group tomorrow.

The members of our team are Victoria Cummings, Evan Whitis, Clay Knight, Mackenzie Snow, and Leland Gray. We look forward to giving everyone further updates as Centre Term progresses!